Cormac majored in chemistry-biology (now called biomedical science) at Ripon while also excelling as a football and baseball athlete, being named the 2023 Midwest Conference Student-Athlete of the Year for Men’s Sports. 

“It’s a great honor that shows just how much the Ripon College community can help individuals excel. This honor wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible professors and coaches I was fortunate to learn from and the teammates and peers who have worked with and supported me throughout the years.”

Cormac Madigan '22, First Year Medical Student at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Achieve More

5

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP OR HONORABLE MENTION WINNERS IN THE LAST 7 YEARS

>95%

ACCEPTANCE RATE INTO Ph.D. GRADUATE PROGRAMS (TUITION-FREE, SALARY INCLUDED)

77%

5-YR AVG ACCEPTANCE RATE TO MEDICAL SCHOOL

Department Mission Statement

Chemistry

Modern chemistry is the study of matter and its transformations. Our department presents the theory, concepts and laboratory experiences of chemistry in an intimate environment that allows for the personal professional development of students through both individual and team-based approaches. The department’s program is framed within the liberal arts model where we consider multiple perspectives to enhance our understanding of phenomena. Throughout the chemistry curriculum, students advance in their problem-solving, critical thinking, laboratory safety, communication and ethical skills and become prepared for careers as productive scientists and for lives as responsible citizens.

Biology

The Department of Biology provides an intellectually challenging learning environment for students of the life sciences. In laboratory, field and discussions, students come to understand the foundations and diversity of life by posing meaningful biological questions, answering these questions through observation and experimentation, and presenting their findings to a wide audience. These experiences prepare students to make informed decisions in their daily life, to work in a range of careers, and to pursue advanced professional programs.

Icon for: At a Glance
Previously called chemistry-biology at Ripon College, the newly titled biomedical sciences major includes prerequisites for most medical professional programs as basic requirements. Combine this with the dedicated faculty mentors and sophisticated instrumentation available at Ripon, graduates of this program leave prepared to succeed in the medical and health sciences fields as clinicians or researchers.

At a Glance

Previously called chemistry-biology at Ripon College, the newly titled biomedical sciences major includes prerequisites for most medical professional programs as basic requirements. Combine this with the dedicated faculty mentors and sophisticated instrumentation available at Ripon, graduates of this program leave prepared to succeed in the medical and health sciences fields as clinicians or researchers.

Icon for: Expect to Experience


 	Hands-on research with state-of-the-art instrumentation used by students at all levels to conduct experiments and research across organic, inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry and in genetics, developmental biology, environmental biology, zoology and molecular biology
 	One-on-one research opportunities with Ripon faculty, often resulting in publication and available for interested students regardless of major
 	Opportunities to travel to National Conferences such as the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society or the Association for the Advancement of Science
 	Personal advising and individualized course navigation, including study-abroad opportunities, to ensure your readiness for future career and educational goals

Expect to Experience

  • Hands-on research with state-of-the-art instrumentation used by students at all levels to conduct experiments and research across organic, inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry and in genetics, developmental biology, environmental biology, zoology and molecular biology
  • One-on-one research opportunities with Ripon faculty, often resulting in publication and available for interested students regardless of major
  • Opportunities to travel to National Conferences such as the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society or the Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Personal advising and individualized course navigation, including study-abroad opportunities, to ensure your readiness for future career and educational goals
Icon for: Leave Empowered To
Students who complete the biomedical sciences program graduate with the skills necessary to:


 	Thrive in elite graduate programs and medical schools across the country from having experienced intense personal involvement with both science content and scientists
 	Effectively communicate scientific concepts and results through both oral and written formats
 	Become a critical reader of scientific journals, prepare and create experiments from this research, and work independently and in teams to effectively advance knowledge
 	Leverage a vast professional network of alumni across the entire scientific space through personal professional contacts made available by our lifelong relationships with alumni

Leave Empowered To

Students who complete the biomedical sciences program graduate with the skills necessary to:

  • Thrive in elite graduate programs and medical schools across the country from having experienced intense personal involvement with both science content and scientists
  • Effectively communicate scientific concepts and results through both oral and written formats
  • Become a critical reader of scientific journals, prepare and create experiments from this research, and work independently and in teams to effectively advance knowledge
  • Leverage a vast professional network of alumni across the entire scientific space through personal professional contacts made available by our lifelong relationships with alumni

Latest News

Brianna Bembenek '22 in graduate school biology lab

Collaborative faculty-student research brings real-world skills into graduate work of Brianna Bembenek ’22

Collaborative research work between Ripon College professors and a student has resulted in a conference presentation and publication in the journal Behavioural Brain Research. “Decrease […]

Faculty

Colleen Byron

Byron, Colleen

Professor of Chemistry, L. Leone Oyster 1919 Chair in Chemistry

Mark Kainz

Kainz, Mark

Professor of Biology, Patricia and Philip McCullough Class of 1969 Professor in Biology

Barbara Sisson

Sisson, Barbara

Associate Professor of Biology

Patrick Willoughby

Willoughby, Patrick

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Advising

Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers.

Advising at Ripon

Requirements

Requirements for a Major in Biomedical Science
Core Courses The basic core of required courses includes:
BIO 122 Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity, 123 Molecules, Cells, and Genes;
CHM 111 Organic Chemistry I, 112 Structure and Reactivity, and 211 Analytical Chemistry: Equilibrium and Quantitative Analysis;
PHY 131 General Physics I: Mechanics and 152 Introductory Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism and Waves or PHY 131 General Physics I: Mechanics and 172 General Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism and Waves;
MTH 201 Calculus I or higher-level calculus; and BIO 501 and 502 Senior Studies* or CHM 501 and 502 Departmental Seminar**.

A senior thesis is required.

*For students electing to take BIO 501 and 502 Senior Studies, MTH 120 Elementary Statistics or PSC 211 Research Design and Statistics and BIO 200 Scientific Writing and Communication or PSC 211-212 Research Design and Statistics are prerequisites.

**For students electing to take CHM 501 and 502 Departmental Seminar, one writing prerequisite course is required from among the following:
BIO 200 Scientific Writing and Communication, PSC 212 Research Design and Statistics, CHM 310, 334 Physical Chemistry: Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics or 414 Chemical Instrumentation, or another course approved by the instructor.

Elective Courses Students must also complete the following elective courses in Biology and Chemistry.

Biology elective requirements:
BIO 219 Genetics or 266 Cell and Molecular Biology
Plus 2 courses in biology, 1 at the 300 level, selected from the following: BIO 210 Topics in Biology (Biophysics and Biomaterials, or Animal Diversity), 211 Human Anatomy and Physiology, 216 Vertebrate Zoology, 219 Genetics, 226 ???, 312 Human Anatomy and Physiology II, 300 Department Studies (Biotechnology), 314 Microbiology, and 329 Developmental Biology.

Chemistry elective requirements:
2 of the following courses: CHM 214 Organic Chemistry II, 321 Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry, 334 Physical Chemistry: Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics or 422 Biochemistry.

Career Tracks

An undergraduate degree in biomedical science can lead to careers in medicine, chemistry, veterinary science, nursing, pharmacology, business, law, teaching and environmental protection.

Many Ripon graduates in this program become doctors, nurses, pharmacists, environmental scientists, college and university professors, elementary or secondary teachers, corporate or academic researchers and lawyers.

Our graduates are enrolled in a variety of graduate programs and medical schools at some of the nation’s most prestigious research universities.

Graduate and Medical Schools Attended by Ripon College Graduates
Baylor College of Medicine Purdue University University of Minnesota
Colorado State University Scripps University of Oregon
Duke University UCLA University of Pennsylvania
Harvard University University of Arizona University of Tennessee
Iowa State University University of California-Irvine University of Washington
Miami of Ohio University of Illinois University of Wisconsin
Northwestern University University of Iowa Washington State University
Penn State University of Massachusetts Yale University

M.D. and Ph.D.'s Earned by Ripon College Biomedical Science Majors
Analytical Chemistry Immunology Organic Chemistry
Biochemistry Inorganic Chemistry Chemical Biology
Molecular Biology Molecular Pharmacology Experimental Therapeutics

Unique Opportunities

Ripon College is here to provide unique experiences that will enhance your studies.

Students review chemistry lab data with Patrick Willoughby

Collaborative Research Opportunities

Research opportunities and internships, in collaboration with Ripon College professors. Paid summer internships are available through our Summer Opportunities for Advanced Research (SOAR) Program, and often this collaborative work is published.

Two female students conducting experiment in chemistry lab

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The purpose of this program is to ensure quality, vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The five-year fellowship provides three years of financial support inclusive of an annual stipend of $37,000 for graduate students. Ripon College faculty have a track record of success in working with interested students to secure this and other research grants.

Ripon College student works with rotifers in Farr Hall of Science

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The Oak Ridge Science Semester enables students to join ongoing investigations at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee in research areas as diverse as astrophysics, cell biology, DNA sequencing, genetic mutagenesis, parallel computing, robotics, toxicology and more.


Facilities

Rendering of the Ripon College Science Center, exterior view of the building

Rendering of the Ripon College Science Center, exterior view of the building Rendering of the Ripon College Science Center, interior view of the lobby

Franzen Science Center Coming Fall 2024!

Breaking ground in spring of 2023, the Franzen Science Center is a complete renovation of Farr Hall including 19,000 square feet of new construction featuring new laboratory, classroom and collaboration spaces throughout. The space, originally built in 1961, is designed to meet the STEM learning needs of science students today and with the flexibility to adapt to needs in the future. Click here to learn more about Ripon's ongoing investment in our campus.

Outside entrance to Farr Hall of Science on Ripon College's campus Students working collaboratively in Farr Hall of Science classroom at Ripon College Brett Barwick, Lydia Wiley Deal and Garrett Radtke in Physics Lab in Farr Hall

Farr Hall of Science

Home to the science department, Farr Hall contains classrooms, labs, faculty offices, Bear Auditorium and a greenhouse. Departmental instrumentation includes LC/MS, GC/MS, 300 MHz NMR, FTIR, digital polarimetry with campus wide spectroscopic and molecular biology instrumentation available.